A city Zoning Board of Adjustment member who came under fire last year for her controversial demeanor when dealing with applicants will be publicly censured, but not removed from the board.
The City Council voted 5-2 on Monday night to take this action against Robin Rousseau after the recommendation was made by a fact-finding committee that Mayor Eric Spear formed in August to investigate Rousseau's behavior.
Councilor Brad Lown, who chaired the committee, said the panel determined that Rousseau was disrespectful to some applicants who went before the zoning board, but did not fail to carry out the city's zoning ordinances.
“I personally feel there was not sufficient evidence to warrant her removal,” Lown said.
Councilor Esther Kennedy said she had an issue with the process undertaken by the council.
“I’m really uncomfortable with this because we never went to the chairperson and made them aware there was a complaint,” she said.
Lown said the committee would have appreciated it if Rousseau chose to talk with them directly, but she refused to do that every step of the way.
“It rose to the level that it did because it couldn’t be sufficiently addressed at the ZBA level,” Lown said.
Spear also said that he formed the committee after he initially invited Rousseau to speak with him last summer and she refused.
Councilor Jack Thorsen didn't agree with the committee's recommendation.
“I really don’t feel we should be censuring people,” he said.
Thorsen said if she breached her duty, she should be removed. If she did not breach her duty and was just hard to get along with, he said she should not be removed or censured.
Thorsen and Kennedy voted against accepting the committee's recommendation to censure Rousseau, who could not be reached for comment.